Athletics academy launched – to groom young talents to compete internationally

In an effort to transform the sports sector and amplify young talents, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, through the National Sports Commission (NSC), on Sunday launched an Athletics Sport Academy.

The academy will place emphasis on track and field, and will target youths between the ages of six to sixteen from various districts across the country.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Charles Ramson at Lenora Track and Field.

At the launch held at the Leonora Track and Field Ground, Region Three, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson, M.P, said the initiative will streamline young talents to compete internationally.

“Sports need to aggressively transform; it needs to aggressively transform because we have a lot of talent in the country. It has the potential for taking young people to the level of being internationally competitive.”

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Charles Ramson interacting with athletes at Leonora Track and Field.

Additionally, the ministry has committed to recommence the Aliann Pompey sports meet, to ensure youths are provided the opportunity to enhance their talent. The meet is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It captures the timings of an athlete, which qualifies them to attend the Olympics. The local competition will be hosted annually, while other tournaments and meets will occur regularly.

Minister Ramson encouraged the youths to work hard to attain their goals in sport, noting that local competition is important.

Athletes exercising

“That is pretty important because if you have a local meet where you can participate and compete in, all of you will now have the chance to get to that point.”

Meanwhile, representative of the Athletics Sport Academy, Cristy Campbell, encouraged the first batch of athletes to do their best to achieve their goals.

Head of the sport academy, Cristy Campbell

“I would like to congratulate the very first athletics of the athletics academy. Your only job is to show up and train and it puts you in a position to transition to the elite programme which is also part of this academy … so I am wishing you good luck going forward. I hope you stay focused and just keep training hard.”

Within the last few months, the ministry, through the NSC, launched five academies in a phased manner of the 12 sporting activities. They include football, squash, badminton and table tennis.

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